Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Business Inspired

Right brain illustration - © Samantha Grenier 2013
Those on Twitter may notice me posting to hashtag #rbbiz. I have been participating in an online video summit run by Jennifer Lee of Artizen Coaching, based on her book the Right Brain Business Plan. Since I have decided to start-up as a cottage industry freelance illustrator, I've been seeking out all visual and inspirational sources to get me psyched up about actually running a small business on my own. Mainly free sources, like the library and Internet browses. Since I've gained so much incite from Jenn & her Creative Cohorts, I think it would be only fair to give her a nod and digital thank-you!

Starting up is scary. I've tried, and re-tried making myself into a mini profitable machine, but my efforts were far too meek to be seen publicly. I've been getting in my own way for years, mainly because I'm terrified about failing.  I'd rather I quietly take my leave, while no one's looking, just to take the edge off the fall. So as I've been modeling my business plan, I've been stuck on the question: What IS my Plan-B? I've been struggling with an exit strategy for a year now, but I kept circling around the same questions: What can I fall back on if I fail? Will I know when to call it "The End"? What is failure to me?

It wasn't until December when I realized that I've been living my exit strategy all the while: Don't quit your day-job. I have a good job and it grows in creative ventures every day. I like being a Graphic Designer; it's a part of me and I don't want that to end. There are times when Day Job work has to come home with me (usually to craft a new project, which I just can't think about while the phone's ringing.) I've been slowly separating "Samantha Greiner, a.k.a Graphic Designer" from "Samantha Grenier, a.k.a. Freelance Illustrator".

Since I'm now aggressively pursing my picture book dreams, I've decided to call it official. I need to supplement my current income, to make up for any potential failings. I'm not making a major financial investment into my start-up. I have been putting a lot of leg-work and mileage into honing my craft and trying to make new network connections, but that's the cost of time. There isn't a LOT of time, since I do put in at least 40 hours every week, but the smaller manageable goals help me budget what time I do have available to spend.

I've gathered all of this from Jenn's video connection and chats; I've had a lot to think about, while participating in the Right Brain Video Summit. I am sitting in on the free-feed, but we're encouraged to share what we've learned. These are some of my biggest take-aways from the first 7 days:

  • The sensation of fear is essentially the same as the sensation of excitement.
  • Look outside of my creative industry (illustration/design) and see how other businesses market and promote themselves.
  • Money is just a number.
  • Find creative cohorts to assist me with the things I'm not so good at (such as bookkeeping, attorney-ing, and web designing).
  • Follow my passion, but do so professionally. Would I really ever show up to work in my pajamas?
  • Zero in on my ideal client and market to this person's needs. If my campaign is too generic/fuzzy, the results will be just the same.
  • Take stretches to push and grow my comfort zone.
  • Celebrate the successes of others. The celebration may be returned someday.
  • Have marketing and press materials on hand - I never know when you'll need it! <-- font="" i="" m="" now="" on="" psst="" these="" working="">
  • And I learned about a slew of resources to help me out with budgeting, time management, and accounting.
I hope this helps others in their pursuits for success. There are 3 more days of the #rbbiz. Sometime between tomorrow and Thursday I will be divulging in some of my more immediate Inspired Actions.

A quick note: If you like my illustration, feel free to use it on your website or blog, but please-please-please give me a note of credit for the work. Thank you!

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